tv President Trump Attends Memorial Day Service at Arlington National Cemetery CSPAN May 30, 2017 6:18am-7:01am EDT
>> ladies and gentlemen, please stand for the official party and remain standing for the introduction of the president, honors, invocation, and national anthem. [applause] >> chaplain colonel terry austin, command chaplain, joint force headquarters, national capital region and the united states army military district of washington. [applause] >> major general michael l. howard, commanding general, united states army, military district of washington. [applause] >> ms. karen durham aguilera, executive director, army national military cemeteries program. [applause]
>> ladies and gentlemen, chaplain austin. chaplain austin: let us pray. almighty god, prince of peace, you have declared there is no greater love than to lay down one's life for their friends. today as a nation, we physically and symbolically stand among america's sons and daughters, patriots who have given their lives in the name of freedom. we pause on this national memorial day to remember them for their sacrifice and honor their memory. lord, i pray we may be more aware of how blessed we are as a nation, and realize the price that is paid to have and maintain our freedom. we also pray today for the families and friends of those who have given their lives in service to our nation. we pray that they will be comforted and reassured that the sacrifice of their loved ones is
not in vain, and they are not forgotten. lord, we ask that you continue to give wisdom to our commander-in-chief, his administration, our elected officials, and our military leaders as they promote peace across our country and around the world. lord, even today, we have many men and women deployed in harm's way. we ask that you watch over and bless them with strength and courage to be victorious, and we ask that they come home soon. we thank you, god, for our country, and ask that you continue to bless america. we ask these things not for ourselves, but in accordance with your will and in accordance with your name as the prince of peace. amen. crowd: amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please join the united states air force band in singing our national anthem. [drumroll]
since the founding of our republic, more than 42 million americans have stepped forward to serve the country in uniform. their story is one of selflessness, courage, and shared commitment. it is also one of extraordinary sacrifice. more than one million americans who have answered the call of duty gave the last full measure of their devotion so that fellow citizens could live in freedom and raise their children in peace. today, we honor the following from battlefields that serve as waypoints in our history. saratoga to gettysburg, belleau wood to midway, chosin to ia drang, and korengal valley to fallujah. today, we reflect on the enormity of their sacrifice and reflect on the hopes and dreams never realized. today, we also reflect on the sacrifice of the families left behind. the anguish of parents, spouses, siblings, and friends. the sadness of children growing up without their fathers or
mothers. we know that for the families, every day is memorial day. today, we also reflect on what is most important about the men and women we honor. we reflect on how they lived. they were people who stood for something larger than themselves. they were people who embodied the most important values and traditions of our nation. they were people who understood that what we have in our country is worth fighting for. and though they were taken from us prematurely, they were people who touched our lives. they were people who made a difference. today, if we truly want to honor the fallen from all of our conflicts, we will do something more than just mark their graves with flags and flowers. we will do more than just deliver remarks and reflect for a few moments. if we truly want to give meaning to the sacrifice of those who have given all on our behalf, each of us will leave here today determined to find, in some small way, a method of serving our nation and our communities in their honor. if we do that, then i would argue that those of us taken from us prematurely will be able to look down and know that we truly do remember them.
age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. at the going down of the sun in the morning, we will remember them. mr. president, mr. vice president, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff, general dunford, gold star families, everyone, we gather here today with a shared attitude of gratitude. 23 centuries ago, so plutarch tells us, an old spartan king observed, it is not the places that grace men, but men grace the places. today, we know that he was right. more than a century ago, this 624-acre plot of land was a plantation on the potomac, scenic but hardly sacred. now these fields hold the greatest treasure of our nation, america's courageous dead, those
who today we pause to remember. not far from here lies the marker of oliver wendell holmes jr., a civil war infantry veteran who later rose to be a supreme court justice. holmes said those who serve in our military have hearts that are touched with fire. having known great things, he said, they are content with silence. if you have ever known one of the fallen, you have known greatness, but it is hard to be content with their silence for we miss them. the empty chair on a holiday, empty every day, the photograph that goes wherever you do.
the picture fades, but the person in it does not. their fighting spirit persists. passed down through the ranks, their spirit echoes in those who serve today, on air, on land, and at sea. in a world awash with change, some things stand firm, and some things are, as plato said, good and true and beautiful. the kid on the line who never had a chance to grow old will always be there to teach us that suffering has meaning if it is accepted out of love for others. to the families of the fallen both here and at home, no words will ease your pain. but i beg you, let it have meaning. unite your sorrow to their awesome purpose. people do grace places, but people also grace people. we are blessed by our time with those now asleep, the mighty and the gentle. let us share their stories with others. then, like the poet, we all can say -- "sleep, soldiers, still in honored rest, your truth and
valor wearing. the bravest are the tenderest. the loving are the daring." now ladies and gentlemen, it is my great honor to introduce our commander-in-chief, president of the united states, donald trump. [applause] [cheers] pres. trump: thank you very much. thank you. thank you so much. and thank you, general dunford,
secretary mattis, for your moving words and for your service to our great nation. vice president pence, cabinet secretaries, members of congress, members of the armed forces, and veterans -- thank you for joining us as we honor the brave warriors who gave their lives for ours, spending their last moments on this earth in defense of this country and of its people. words cannot measure the depth of their devotion, the purity of their love, or the totality of their courage. we only hope that every day we can prove worthy, not only of their sacrifice and service, but of the sacrifice made by the families and loved ones they left behind.
not only did secretary proudly serve in the military for more than 40 years, enduring many hardships, but he and his incredible wife karen have borne the single most difficult hardship of them all -- the loss of their son, robert, in service to our country. robert died fighting the enemies of all civilizations in afghanistan. to john, karen, heather, kate, andrea, and the entire kelly family, today, 300 million american hearts are joined together with yours. we grieve with you. we honor you. and we pledge to you that we will always remember robert and what he did for all of us. thank you, john. [applause]
pres. trump: the kelly family represents military families across the country who carry the burden of freedom on their shoulders. secretary kelly is joined today by his son-in-law, jake, a wounded warrior. and the secretary's son, johnnie, will soon leave on his fifth deployment. it is because of families like yours that all of our families can live in safety and live in peace. to every gold star family who honors us with your presence, you lost sons and daughters, husbands and wives, mothers and fathers. they each had their own names, their own stories, their own beautiful dreams. but they were all angels sent to us by god, and they all share
one title in common -- and that is the title of hero. [applause] pres. trump: real heroes. [applause] pres. trump: though they were here only a brief time before god called them home, their legacy will endure forever. general douglas macarthur once said that the soldier who is called upon to offer and to give his life for his country is the noblest development of mankind.
here at this hallowed shrine, we honor the noblest among us -- the men and women who paid the ultimate price for victory and for freedom. we pay tribute to those brave souls who raced into gunfire, roared into battle, and ran into hell to face down evil. they made their sacrifice not for fame, or for money, or even for glory -- but for country. we are privileged to be joined today by a man whose life demonstrates the values of service and sacrifice -- senator bob dole, here with his wife, senator elizabeth dole. [applause] pres. trump: senator dole fought bravely in world war ii and was
severely wounded by german fire. in just a few weeks, bob will be celebrating his 94th birthday. [applause] pres. trump: and bob, i know i speak for millions of grateful americans when i say thank you. [applause] pres. trump: thank you, bob. [applause] pres. trump: we thank you not only for your service, but for helping us to remember your fallen comrades and the countless american patriots who gave their lives in the second world war. since the first volley of gunfire in the revolution, brave americans in every generation have answered the call of duty and won victory for freedom in its hour of need.
today, a new generation of american patriots are fighting to win the battle against terrorism, risking their lives to protect our citizens from an enemy that uses the murder of innocents to wage war on humanity itself. we are joined today by the wife of specialist christopher horton, who rests on these so beautiful grounds. as jane tells us, chris was a man who loved his country with every part of his being. in 2008, chris enlisted in the oklahoma army national guard. he trained as a sniper, becoming known as one of the best shots anywhere, at any time.
he was a talented, tough guy. while chris was in the national guard, he was also a volunteer police officer. in everything he did, he was thinking about how he could serve god, serve his family, and serve his country. in 2011, he deployed for the first time to afghanistan. chris knew his job was one of the most dangerous there was, but he was determined to go after the enemy at any cost to himself. his missions helped target and kill terrorists who sought to destroy innocent people. just three months into his first deployment, chris was near the pakistan border, trying to eliminate an enemy cell that was doing so much damage and that
was planting deadly roadside bombs against his unit and the units of many others. standing watch with his comrades, he died in the ensuing gun battle with enemy forces. chris sacrificed his life to protect his fellow soldiers, and to protect all americans. he was awarded the purple heart and bronze star for his courage. at only 26 years old, chris secured his place in our hearts for eternity. jane, america grieves with you. our whole, entire nation sends you our support, our strength, and our deep, deep love. you lost your husband, and
he became the commander of a special halo team, leading his fellow soldiers out of aircraft, hurtling into dangerous and unknown territory. about this time last year, andrew was sent on his third combat deployment. this time, he went to afghanistan. on november 3, he was one of 10 special forces operators to land by helicopter near a taliban safe haven in northern afghanistan. they trekked through a mile of waist-deep mud and climbed a steep cliff before finally reaching the village that they wanted to reach. there, a night-long battle ensued. andrew and his team fought off wave after wave after wave of enemy fighters. a grenade detonated, and as the taliban began to surround the american and afghan forces, andrew ran through the smoke and through the hail of bullets to rescue an afghan soldier. in the midst of this torrent of gunfire and danger, andrew worked heroically to open a gateway and get his men to
safety, risking his life to save theirs. and he did it. unbelievably, he did it. but in saving those lives, andrew was killed right then and there by enemy fire. andrew has since been awarded the silver star for gallantry in battle. to his parents, david and rose, we stand in awe of your son and his courageous sacrifice. on behalf of the american people, i express to you our everlasting gratitude for what your son did for his country, for his comrades, and for all of us. andrew's father has said that he
to every gold star family, god is with you, and your loved ones are with him. they died in wars so that we could live in peace. i believe that god has a special place in heaven for those who lay down their lives so that others may live free from fear and this horrible oppression. now, let us pledge to make the most of that freedom that they so gallantly and brilliantly fought for, and they died to protect. let us also pledge to tell the stories of robert, chris, andrew, and all of america's fallen warriors, today and for the next 1000 years.
[applause] pres. trump: and while we cannot know the extent of your pain, what we do know is that our gratitude to them and to you is boundless and undying. boundless and undying. we'll always be there. thank you. [applause] pres. trump: their stories are now woven into the soul of our nation, into the stars and stripes on our flag, and into the beating hearts of our great, great people.
today, we also hold a special vigil for heroes whose story we cannot tell, because their names are known to god alone -- the unknown soldiers. we do not know where they came from, who they left behind, or what they hoped to be. but we do know what they did. they fought and they died in a great and noble act of loyalty and love to their families and to our country. in a letter written that is now famous, one civil war soldier captured it all and for all time. he wrote to his wife, "if i do not return, my dear sarah, never
forget how much i love you, nor that when my last breath escapes me on the battlefield, it will whisper your name." that is the love we hear whispering throughout this sacred place and from every tombstone on these hallowed grounds. it is the love that binds this earth beneath us and bleeds from the hearts of all of those who died so that we might live free. we can never replace them. we can never repay them. but we can always remember. and today, that is what we are doing -- we remember. words cannot wipe away the tears or bring back those smiling faces.
but if americans just take the time to look into your eyes and tell you how much we thank you and how dearly we pray for you and how truly we love you, then hopefully you can find solace through your pain. and every time you see the sun rise over this blessed land, please know your brave sons and daughters pushed away the night and delivered for us all that great and glorious dawn. thank you. god bless you. god bless our fallen heroes. god bless their families. god bless our military. and god bless the united states of america. [applause]
>> almighty and merciful god, grant to all of us grace, peace, and a strong recollection of this national memorial day observance. may the memory of this sacred place among america's sons and daughters be etched into our hearts and always cause us to be thankful for your blessings and their sacrifices. they shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old. age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. at the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. the years condemn. amen. >> ladies and gentlemen, please remain in place until the president has departed and the colors are retired. [applause] [cheers]
then a look at the week ahead for president trump. later, the president and ceo of the intelligent transportation society of america will talk about the future of ♪ good morning. a three-hour "washington journal" ahead of you. we begin with gang violence in america. in the early months of the trump administration, they have valid -- gangs with renewed vigor. this morning, we want to hear from you. are you concerned about angry violence in your community? what would you like to see from police and